I like both you guys a lot, and enjoy reading both of your posts. In this case, however, I disagree with both of you.
Richardm may have a penchant for sarcastically odd one-liners. However, in my opinion:
(a) They often have a message to them. Yes, sometimes they are just intended to be amusing and nothing else. But very often I find that they are making a point at the same time. If you’re slow, like me, you sometimes have to think about them for a second to get what the point is – but very often you will find one.
(b) Not everyone’s sense of humor is compatible, so there’s nothing shocking about the fact that you don’t happen to find Richardm’s comments funny. That said, I have a feeling that you might be in the minority here. I suspect that many of us find Richard’s posts quite funny, even if we don’t happen to agree with the message behind them.
If you think that it “doesn’t prove a thing” to point out that the actions of the leaders of countries are often worse than the actions of the Bush administration, then I think you are letting your own political viewpoint act as a pair of blinders to many of the comments that are made every day about Bush, and about the US.
It is quite natural that Bush, and the United States receive the bulk of the criticism and attack around here. Their role on the world stage makes this inevitable, and I think much of the criticism is quite warranted.
But have you not seen the comments asking why the US should be allowed to have nuclear weapons and North Korea should not? Have you not read posters who argue (and they are serious) that the US is the most evil nation in the world? In the context of such an extreme lack of perspective, how is it illegitimate to point out that there are other countries that are far worse?
It doesn’t mean that the US shouldn’t be ashamed of some of its actions – as all countries should be ashamed as some of their actions. It does not mean the US shouldn’t try to improve the areas where it falls short. It just means that we should have some perspective on things. That’s really not an extreme position. And I submit that it’s not a “silly” position either.